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“Wander Through the Azeleas”

U.S. National Arboretum
Ranked #36 of 432 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Established in 1927 by an Act of the United States Congress, this national treasure contains 446 acres of fabulous flora and fauna and is especially known for its Asian, azalea and conifer collections.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
126 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 328 helpful votes
“Wander Through the Azeleas”
Reviewed 2 May 2009

I really enjoyed my day at the National Arboretum. I went during the end of April when the Azaleas were blooming, which was nice. They Azalea collection is on a wooded hill which you can see by walking on the trails. It was neat to see them in full bloom, azaleas of every color.

Besides the Azaleas there is a lot to see at the National Arboretum. There is a small visitor center which is a good place to start, there are maps and guides for each of the gardens in the Arboretum. From the visitor center you can walk to the Bonsai Museum which is pretty much worth the trip itself, These trees are amazing to see up close, how perfectly maintained they are.

Across the street is the herb garden, which is pretty, and you can get a good view of the Capitol Columns. The Columns are also only a short walk from the visitor center, which are worth checking out.

I think everyone would enjoy the Arboretum. I would not consider it a must see it you are visiting DC for the first time, but if you have seen most of the major attractions and looking for something else to do, it is worth checking out, and its free!

2 Thank TouristMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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488 reviews from our community

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English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Bring your lunch and stay for the day”
Reviewed 13 April 2009

My family was visiting from Canada and after spending the previous day in the city with all the crowds, the arboretum was exactly what they needed. We arrived early and spent the morning in the bonsai museum, ate our picnic lunch that we brought with us and then spent the afternoon walking through the dogwood and Asian collections. It was a wonderful day, great weather for walking and we all really enjoyed ourselves.

2 Thank Nicole G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Biking for the day”
Reviewed 12 September 2008

This place is fantastic for a relaxing bike ride or for a good exercise as there's lots of hilly terrain. We rented two bikes from "Better Bikes Inc." who delivered them to the Arboretum and picked them up later the same day. Ken, who runs Better Bikes, is awesome. He's very accomadating to whatever the customer requests and he even gave us a ride to the metro at the end of the day.

This place is great place for pictures, a picnic, relaxation, exercise or peace and quiet.

3 Thank Mdbrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem in DC”
Reviewed 24 August 2008

What a marvelous retreat from the frenetic crowds that visit DC's museums! A lesser-known and considerably less crowded attraction, the National Arboretum is beautiful. Even by mid-day on a weekend, the research "museum" is hardly crowded. The grounds are divided into various sections and each section has its own trail network. Not only is the National Arboretum peaceful, but it's also educational. Nearly every plant is labeled and there are informational plaques all over the place. I never knew allspice was related to the citrus family! From the general landscaping to the flowers in bloom, the arboretum is also a photographer's paradise. If you're looking for something other than the Smithsonian museums, be sure to check out the National Arboretum. You won't be disappointed.

3 Thank Ijit1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashburn, Virginia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“A Beautiful Spot! No Big Deal to Get There”
Reviewed 18 October 2007

Visited on October 6th for the Capitol Orchid Show. Amazed at how large the place is. Seemingly hidden right in downtown. As an avid photog would take more than a day to walk around and do the place justice. Being local I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to return. Lovely setup, good maps, lots of room to wander. Nice, basic picnic area. Crowds are basically non-existent. Open every day except Christmas. Free!

Is easy to get to from Bladensburg Road. Turn onto R street and you're there. Less than 15 mins from the Capitol building.

Don't expect an extremely formal setting. This is not Central Park. But I liked it better. Is a very natural place and wonderful to wander around. The capitol columns are quite striking. I can't wait to return for the fall color.

And lest we forget, they do research here as well. (See picture of new pepper breed)

3 Thank LovetheUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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